The Geffrye, Museum of the Home

136 Kingsland Road, London, E2 8EA


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18th Century Domestic LifePage 1

Entertaining at home was a central part of eighteenth-century urban life. Visitors were received in the parlour for tea and light refreshments, and the same room could be used for dining by rearranging the furniture. Women spent much of their time in the parlour, engaged in what were considered suitable feminine activities such as music and sewing, or reading; romantic novels were an especially popular form of amusement from around 1740.


A father reading to his family by candlelight, by Daniel Dodd, 1783; engraving.

© Private Collection/The Stapleton Collection/The Bridgeman Art Library